Jan 18, 2011


Understanding the Link between Climate Change, Poverty and Agriculture

  • Jan 18, 2011
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  • Climate change mainly affects the poor people through agriculture. Because they tend to be concentrated in rural areas, they spend a large share of their income on food, and their income from farm production and wages is tied to climate patterns, according to a new working paper by Thomas Hertel and Stephanie D. Rosch. At the same time, the agriculture sector is at the forefront of developing countries' efforts to mitigate climate change. That effort, in turn, can have an impact on the poor, either indirectly through commodity markets or directly through payments to the poor for environmental services such as carbon reduction. The net impact of climate change on poverty levels may vary across and within countries. Indeed, poverty could even be reduced by climate change in the wake of rising farm prices in those areas where

    i) Farming is only moderately affected by climate change;
    ii) Poverty is concentrated in rural areas; and
    iii) Adverse climate shocks boost the demand for unskilled labor.

    Any such gains, however, are likely to be countered by the impact of climate change on publicly-accessible forests and wildlife resources on which the poor depend. Policy makers should consider measures to help the poor adapt to climate change, such as improving insurance markets and governance of natural resources, and design climate mitigation projects to maximize their potential to reduce poverty.

    (This information extracting from WB)

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